From the history of the problem

It is hardly possible to say that primitive man was a problem of old age. Just old age was seen as a period of weakness, unfitness to life, the impossibility of participation in obtaining food. As you know, many primitive peoples there was the custom to kill old people: because obtaining food was basic and difficult tribe and old for this wouldn't work, was the extra mouths, they killed them.
It is unknown how long did primitive man to the stage of the murder of the elderly as a burden, go to respect them as people experienced, knowledgeable and wise. That is because older people had a great experience in hunting, fishing, in the manufacture of weapons and household items, had a great experience. They asked the Council, when they became the people respected leaders of the tribe. Indeed, that was the next stage in the development of culture, stage, which is preserved up to our time. The tribes were ruled by "elders," that is, men, seniors, they were given power. Essentially in the history of mankind, the power is most often was in the hands of the "senior". It was connected with the authority of his father during the Patriarchate, in the age of matriarchy, with the power of the woman, the mother of the species. She was in the hands of old people in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
In a class society, from the beginning of its existence, the old men were holding the property, and therefore power. Their power was pure class. It was guarded by the sons and grandsons, counting on transition of the property of the father or grandfather in their hands.
The concept of old age began to merge with the concept of property, the ownership of the property. The property belonged to the elders in kind, as much later, in the feudal and bourgeois society, it belonged to the head of the family. Was, in essence, not a problem of old age, and the problem of ownership of property, accumulated for long life. Respect for old age was and respect for the owner of the property.
Human life in a primitive society was so short that the real old age it lived only a very few. Life was hard and dangerous, death and disease guarded person at every step. Only by a lucky chance the person could reach a great age, and this accident was considered to favor some kind of higher power. And later in all countries and in all religions long life was considered a manifestation of the will and the favor of the gods. Not from man depended to live long, but from the will of the Supreme, standing over him, creatures. No wonder there was such expressions as "Yes'll send you the Lord God long life", "may Allah give you many years of life." And at the same time, if old age is seen as a gift of God, old people were seen as people sickly, weak, frail, physically ugly.
Still, people from ancient times dreamed to live to a ripe old age, to be strong and healthy. Known, for example, the Hebrew Bible myths about Methuselah, who was 900 years. Legends and myths about old age are the other Nations. But as in the past, people could not hope to live long, most of the legends tells about the search for funds for rejuvenation. In many mythologies we find legends about the existence of a wonderful source of rejuvenating. Medieval astrologers, alchemists, philosophers sought "a philosophical stone", which could give a man wealth, power, and, in addition, to make him young. Goethe's "Faust" is not looking for a prolongation of life, he is looking for youth.
Heroes of number of folk tales find the means to be young. But here we are faced with a magnificent images of folk humor - if you abuse it means, that the man falls in childhood.
Here is an example of several folk tales.
So, one Japanese tale says:
"There lived the old man and the old woman, was over seventy. The old man went into the woods I found a spring of water, drank the water, and returned home - wife didn't know him, he began a 20-year-old boys. The old woman also went "updated", rejuvenate. Drank water. Went to the old man to look for her, saw at a spring newborn baby, in a kimono. It turned out, it was his old drank it too much water in a spring".

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